The Hewlett Bulldogs traveled to Wellington C. Mepham High School for its participation in the County Qualifiers. In each of six locations around Nassau County the top four finishers in each weight class would advance to the County Championships scheduled for Friday and Saturday of this week (Feb. 8 and 9).
Facing teams from host Mepham, Bellmore JFK, Manhasset, Calhoun, Hicksville and Oceanside, the Bulldogs wrestlers knew they had their work cut out for them heading into the event.
In the end, 15 wrestlers earned the right to be called All-Conference (top six wrestlers in each weight class) and the team claimed second place. While the Bulldogs had eight wrestlers in the finals, unfortunately only one won their weight class and earned the right to be one of the top six seeded wrestlers at the county championships.
Coach Stephen Jones offered his thoughts on his teams results, "Having eight in the finals was a great achievement for our program. Although we hoped for a better result in the finals, all in all our boys are right where they need to be at this time of year"
Leading the Bulldogs with a first place finish was senior Captain Lester Enriquez (285). Joining him at the county championships will be Lucas Pincus (106), senior Captain Simon Greebel (120), Owen Bachelder (126), junior Captain Oran Revivo (132), senior Captain Robert Rosenberg (138), Tredd Smith (152), and Matt Kaminer (220), all of whom finished second. In addition, Charles Tsakh (145), who finished third, and Alex Gordon (160), who finished fourth, also earned their way to the counties.
In discussing the team's hopeful placements at counties, Coach Jones stated, "Our big guns are taking care of business. Regardless of the outcomes, the boys all seem to be falling into good spots for the county tournament."
Both senior Captain Aaron Weinberg (126) and Andrew Kevelson (138) were required to return and wrestle their last matches of the day to determine whether they finished fifth or sixth. Rounding out the Bulldog’s All-Conference wrestlers are Samer Baig (182) and Justin Ciraolo (195) both of whom finished fifth and Sal Basco (195) who finished sixth.
Coach Jones reflected on his teams overall success at the qualifiers and said, "I believe we will open a lot of eyes throughout Nassau County this upcoming weekend. We have anywhere from 10 to 14 kids competing in the tournament. I believe we have a very good chance at finishing in the top five".
The Hewlett Bulldogs begin their hunt for county championships, a feat which has not occurred in the short history of the team, and welcome everyone to come see them this Friday at 1 p.m. for the preliminary rounds at Hofstra University.
While the most important part of the season is what is left, Coach Jones reflected on this past year and said with a smile, "This team has been a pleasure to coach. My senior leaders are the definition of true champions. I wish them the best, and I know each and every one of them will achieve their goals come Saturday."